Tag Archive - writing

The Not-So-Long Good-bye

Earlier in the year I covered some tips about creating scenes, and most particularly in discussion about your novel’s first scene. I mentioned that the first scene in your book carries a special burden, and if you’ve been faithfully following this blog, you’ll recall we spent a whopping five months on just your first scene! Now, as we approach the end of this year, with only nine posts to go to wrap up this year-long intensive look at writing the heart of your story, I want to shift from scene endings to ending scenes. Continue Reading…

Altering the Quality of Time in Your Novel

I don’t think I’ve said all there is to say about plot (no indeed), but I want to take a little detour here to talk a bit about something I love seeing done well in novels—and that’s altering the quality of time.

In a movie there are all kinds of techniques the director and film editor can use to speed time up and slow time down. That’s part of what I’m thinking about here. But I’m going to talk not just about the speed at which time seems to move but also the quality of time.

If that seems like an esoteric concept, it is. But I bet you can think of instances or moments when time has felt different. Not just when it slows way down (like when you’ve had an accident or when you’re waiting for a doctor to come into the exam room with your test results ) or speeds up (getting old, in general) but when it feels different. Do you have any idea of what I’m referring to? Continue Reading…

Create Key Moments with Secondary Characters

Before we move away from characters for a while, I’d like to get you thinking a bit more about those secondary characters. My aim in this blog is to help you zoom in on the heart of your story, and in last week’s post I gave a scenario that showed how you can make your protagonist and supporting character clash by having their goals, needs, and fears be opposites to some degree. That’s just one way you can not only bring your secondary characters to life but also enhance your overall theme. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m big on themes, and I believe books with well-explored themes can have great impact on the reader. So as you consider your secondary characters and create their lives and personalities, think of a problem they come to face as the book unfolds that will tie in with the theme. Continue Reading…

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